Just wanted to chime in with my thoughts and impressions of the a.m. session of training camp today. Got to the Garden at about 930, which was perfect for me because I was able to snipe one of the complimentary breakfasts that the lovely folks at the Garden provided. Once I finished that I headed down to the loge and took my seat, with my trusty notebook and pen in hand. From loge 10 row 4 here are my thoughts:
-During warm ups the players were doing sprints, Tim Thomas tripped over the blue line and got a good laugh out of the crowd.
-1st Drill: Breakaways, Adam Courchaine(G) looked very sharp, he turned aside all the shots he faced. Recchi andRyder both looked sharp even though they basically played 3-bar and hit all the posts.
-2nd Drill: 1-1 Breakouts, Bergeron was flying all over the place, his stick handling and skating legs looked to be in midseason form all morning. Johnny Boychuk (D) looked very solid as he broke up Ryder and Wheeler a few times, Chara tried to lineup Ryder and pin him to the boards but missed and got a good laugh from the crowd. Jeff Penner(D) looked a little bit rusty, he got beat pretty badly by Wheeler and Bergeron.
-3rd Drill: 5-2 Powerplay (5 players on offense, 2 defenseman), Lucic and Bergeron were clicking really well, they put a few pretty ones past Matt Dalton (G), Ryder may have the hardest wrist/snap shot I have ever seen, he uncorked a few eye openers from the top of the slot. Rob Kwiet (D) looked very strong, active with his stick and very good on his skates.
-4th Drill: 2-2 Puck Battles, Chara hammered Lucic with a big hit in the corner, woke the crowd up a bit. Boychuklooked strong again here, he played very physical with any forward he was matched against.
-5th Drill: 5-5 Offensive Zone play, Courchaine looks sharp here again, he gets very big in the net. Bergeron was all over the place again, had a lot of good looks and almost scored a few. Mark Stuart played very well here, had a good scrum with Recchi in front of the net.
After that things kind of quieted down, a lot of fans began heading for the exits. All in all it was a good take, there was maybe 200 people there. I thought a few of the younger guys looked pretty good while skating with the "big boys".
Players that stood out to me:
Bergeron, Ryder, Wheeler, Kwiet, Stuart, Boychuk, and Chara